Alclad chrome

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Posted · Report post

I have seen several recommendations to use Testors gloss black as a base for Alclad chrome. Does that mean MM black (which I don't have) or Testors square bottle (which I do have)?

The square bottle is notoriously slow to dry, if I use Donn Yost's method of thinning it with lacquer thinner, will it dry faster, and still be OK for the Alclad?

I have also heard to polish the black. I have Meguiars Ultimate polish, it doesn't say anything about silicone. Anybody know if it would be safe to use?

Thanks in advance.

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Posted · Report post

I'll try to answer some of your questions.............

First, I'm not sure about the Meguiar's as I use a different type of that wax. Read the labels CAREFULLY to make sure it has no silicone. You'll end up with "fisheyes" and what looks like what might have been a decent paint job, will be ruined.

Either of those gloss blacks should work..........just make sure that the paint has dried THOROUGHLY before trying to mist coat on the Alclad Chrome.

Failing to do so will have the Alclad smearing when you'll need to handle it to get the tires on. As far as adding lacquer to enamel paint, I've never tried that------but if Donn suggested it, you can't go wrong since he's the Master of painting! :lol:

Should be no problem using it with the Alclad, since it's already somewhat lacquer based. Alclad mentions using acetone to thin it, however I've used lacquer thinner in the past with no problems.

Here's a few pics of a C6 'Vette I did with the wheels done in Alclad Chrome.

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HTH!

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Posted · Report post

Is an Alclad finish fragile? Will touching it mess up the "chrome" effect?

Can you (should you?) clear-coat it?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I use the small bottles of Testors all the time and have never had a problem with the Alclad. I do however thin the Testors with Enamel Reducer for 1:1 cars. It helps in the drying time. I don't use Testors thinner any more because of this drying time and the paint smoothes out better. I came across this by accident one day. I had run out of Testors thinner and needed to thin the paint and I had some enamel reducer left over from a paint job and decided to try it and I got way better results by doing so. It does help in the drying time. I was able to handle the parts in about half and hour or so. I hope this helps ya. Dan

P.S. Here is a pic of a 63 Impala that I used Alclad over Testors gloss black on the front grill and bumper.

impala56.jpg

Edited by 59 Chevy Impala

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Posted · Report post

Alclad is a lot more durable (even the chrome) than your run of the mill paint Harry. Even so, handling anything too much is bound to wear it out. :lol:

I remember years ago trying to clear coat Alclad Chrome..............but IIRC the finish wasn't quite the same. I don't recommend clearing it, but someone else may have had a different experience.

One of the reasons I mentioned making dang sure the gloss black underneath is super dry, is because when I was building my '05 Mustang, I had used Alclad Chrome on a portion of the wheels. The gloss black undercoat was not as dry as it could have been, and I noticed the chrome rubbing off quicker than usual. More than likely because the undercoat was not fully cured.

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Posted · Report post

Wow Dan, that looks NICE!!

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Posted · Report post

Is an Alclad finish fragile? Will touching it mess up the "chrome" effect?

Can you (should you?) clear-coat it?

The gloss black undercoat was not as dry as it could have been, and I noticed the chrome rubbing off quicker than usual. More than likely because the undercoat was not fully cured.

Yeah, that's why I asked the question. I have had Alclad rub off in my early attempts. I'm doing a bumper and would like to get results like Dan's.

I've heard of using Future over Alclad. Anybody tried that? Thanks all.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks guys. Hugh, I used Testors gloss black on the rear bumper as well and let them both dry over night. Then I sprayed the Alclad on using about 12 pounds of air pressure with my air brush. Dan

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Posted · Report post

Question for Bill or Dan: how many coats of Alclad does it take to get the finish you guys achieved? I have Alclad but haven't tried it yet. Also,does one have to spray it over enamel? I would rather use laquer to avoid paint buildup if possible.

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Posted · Report post

Hi guy's is there a good reason to not use the Alcad II lacquer Gloss black base # ALC 305?

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Posted · Report post

Hi guy's is there a good reason to not use the Alcad II lacquer Gloss black base # ALC 305?

From what I've read, you can use any gloss enamel as a base for shiny chrome Alclad; it doesn't necessarily have to be their brand.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hi guy's is there a good reason to not use the Alcad II lacquer Gloss black base # ALC 305?

It's not a good reason, but I have Testors, I don't have Alclad black, and I'm cheap! B)

Dan, did you polish the black, or leave it as airbrushed?

Edited by basher

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Posted · Report post

I've shot Alclad chrome over Plast-t-cote grey primer and black primer with a coat of Testors clear gloss over them. Results were pretty good. I've also brushed Testors gloss black (little square bottle) on wheels and then shot with the Alclad. Not bad either.

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Posted · Report post

Question for Bill or Dan: how many coats of Alclad does it take to get the finish you guys achieved? I have Alclad but haven't tried it yet. Also,does one have to spray it over enamel? I would rather use laquer to avoid paint buildup if possible.

I can't give you an exact coat count. Alclad Chrome is something you have to mist on lightly to get the results you want. I know that too heavy a coat will make the finish more like aluminum taking away the chrome effect.

Also, I'm not sure about using lacquer paint as I've always used Alclad's black to be on the safe side. As Harry said, any enamel should work however. You can always test it out to see if the lacquer would work.

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Posted · Report post

I have used Alclads gloss black, which is a lacquer, but I have had better luck using Testors gloss black in the little bottles, and I did not polish the black. I just made sure it was shiny and that it was dry. I did spray it on and I use Enamel Reducer to thin Testors paints. It's better than their thinner and the paint flows smoother using reducer. I found this out by accident.

Like Bill said, I really don't know how many coats you use. I spray a mist coat on and then another mist coat. If it looks good then I leave it alone. Sometimes I use another coat. Again like Bill said to many coats will make it look like aluminum and not chrome. When I spray I keep going over the part side to side and then top to bottom until it looks good to my eyes anyway, if that makes any since. Dan

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The key to the chrome look is a smooth, wet looking dark base coat. The "chrome" will only come out as reflective as the base coat. Orange peel on the base coat will result in bumpy, less reflective "chrome". I like Humbrol black enamel because it dries to a harder finish than Testors. I thin the enamel with lacquer thinner, which makes it dry a little quicker than enamel thinner. I've also used Testors flat black Acryl as a primer followed by Humbrol clear enamel top coats with nearly identical results as with black enamel.

I'm sure blues & grays would make a good base color. In fact that double nozzled spray chrome stuff uses a gray base coat. I've tried white & it looked pathetic.

Once the enamel has dried a few hours or a day, I spray very light coats of Alclad, slowing building up the chrome look. If you spray it too heavy, it will look like aluminum. If you don't spray enough coats, it will look like hematite, or whatever that dark grey metallic stone is that they make rings out of. I keep misting on coats until I see very few or no black specks from the black base coat. I'm talking very low air pressure

After the final coat, I set the part aside for a couple of weeks to let the enamel fully harden. After that, I wipe the overspray dust & buff it with an old T-shirt. I haven't found any clear that can go on top of Alclad without losing the chrome look. I don't remember if I tried Future, but I don't care for Future because it doesn't dry hard hard enough for my use. You will be able to handle the parts, but repeated pressure or rubbing on the part may remove the chrome. But, those can usually be touched up easily by spraying more Alclad on that spot or even using a brush to apply it.

All chrome except body/window trim on these is Alclad.

merc-08-14-02b-s.jpg

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Horn ring, door handles & window cranks are Alclad. You can also use a paint brush to apply Alcad. All the chrome spots on the dash knobs & window cranks were done with a brush, as well as the bezels around the knobs on the dash.

50ford-int8s.jpg

Edited by sbk

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Posted · Report post

:angry::angry::o

My God Steve! I LOVE your work!!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Wow, Steve! That is amazing! I just want to follow up and say I followed the advice I got here, sprayed Testors black thinned with lacquer thinner, let it dry overnight, sanded with 2000 grit, and gave it another very thin coat. I ended up with a very shiny and smooth black. I sprayed the Alclad, but didn't want to use too much, I ended up with "black chrome". Next day I sprayed a couple more coats of Alclad, and while my results don't match Steve, Bill, or Dan's, I am very happy with it. Thanks to all for the great info!

Edited by basher

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